E-Cigarettes and Vaping

  • E-cigarettes are threatening to addict a new generation to nicotine. In fact, young people who use e-cigarettes are four times more likely to start smoking cigarettes than their peers who do not vape. E-cigarette use among youth - many of whom were not smokers in the first place - has skyrocketed in recent years. Nicotine is harmful to developing brains: younger users are more likely to become addicted, have more difficulty quitting and may be at higher risk for addiction to other substances in the future. 

    What is Vaping?

    Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling the aerosol, often referred to as vapor, which is produced by an e-cigarette or similar device. The term is used because e-cigarettes do not produce tobacco smoke, but rather an aerosol, often mistaken for water vapor, that actually consists of fine particles. Many of these particles contain varying amounts of toxic chemicals, which have been linked to cancer, as well as respiratory and heart disease.

    Are e-cigarettes and vaping devices dangerous?

    Yes. The dangers of e-cigarettes are just as real as regular cigarettes. According to a 2016 Report of the Surgeon General, the vapor produced by these devices is NOT water vapor — it is a toxic aerosol that contains cancer-causing substances. Inhaling secondhand vapor from e-cigarettes can cause respiratory irritations and an increased risk for asthma, among other adverse health effects. E-cigarettes are also dangerous to youth, as the nicotine used is highly addictive and dangerous for their still-developing brains. In fact, each Juul pod or flavor cartridge contains about the same amount of nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes. View the Surgeon General’s website on e-cigarettes and youth to learn more. 

    How do I identify e-cigarettes or other vaping devices? 

    Vaping devices are discreet and can be difficult to identify. The newest and most popular vaping product is the Juul, which is a small, sleek device that resembles a computer USB flash drive and actually charges in a computer's USB port. Its subtle design makes it easy to hide, which helps explain why it has become so popular among middle and high school students. It comes in several enticing flavors like crème brûlée, mango and fruit medley. 

    Image of vaping device

    Image of discreet vaping devices

Champions of Health

  • At Norman Public Schools, we are working diligently to prevent the use of e-cigarettes and other vaping devices. In fact, the district formed a wellness committee in 2017 made up of teachers, parents, administrators, health professionals, coaches and community partners to focus on enhancing wellness opportunities for students and staff. Known as "Champions of Health," the committee works to recommend and implement programs and policies that lead to healthier lifestyles. As a result, the committee developed a comprehensive wellness policy and worked to strengthen the district's Tobacco-Free Campus Policy. Both were unanimously approved by the Norman Board of Education.  
    Additionally, The Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) Healthy Incentive Program recognizes schools that are actively promoting strong health policies and implementing improvements to child nutrition, physical activities, and tobacco and vaping policies. Norman Public Schools has participated in TSET's annual Certified Healthy Schools program since it began in 2010 with all 24 schools certified "healthy" on an annual basis. As a result of our schools' certification with TSET and our new comprehensive wellness policy, the district applied for and was granted a $100,000 Healthy Incentive Grant, which helps to provide wellness coordinators in each of our schools and materials that supplement the tobacco-prevention curriculum. 
    Beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, the district will implement a comprehensive education program aimed at preventing the use of e-cigarettes and vaping devices. The age-appropriate curriculum will be delivered to all students. 

Tobacco and Nicotine Prevention Curriculum